Double chocolate French Macaroons

This fancy desert has eluded me for years, I’ve made, and even posted them before, but they were far from perfect.  Deserts that require perfection have never really been my thing, but I knew I could at the very least improve so I kept trying and finally I figured out how to make an smooth, leggy, gorgeous macaroon that tastes as good as it looks! (uncommon with perfect deserts in my experience).  One key to my success has been this little hand-pull food processor I got from my MIL that is the most incredible kitchen tool –  it’s made by Zyliss, and here’s a link to buy one! it was a game changer for making my cocoa, sugar, and almond flour SUPER FINE – which is how you get that beautiful smooth top.  You can use a traditional food processor of course, but in my experience this small one does a much better job of engaging the ingredients and not leaving them caked up in corners.  The other thing that is NON-NEGOTIABLE in making successful macaroons is a food scale.  Weighing ingredients made ALL the difference in getting perfect puff every time.  This recipe is totally by weight, because I’ve learned that it’s the only way they come out right consistently.  A few more things you need are large piping bags and a large flat piping tip.  I also find it helpful to print out a template that I slip under the parchment so I can pipe them into uniform circles.  They are truly not difficult, just a bit more time consuming than your average cookie, but don’t be intimidated, get a food scale and GO FOR IT! You’ll be glad you did!

For the macaroon (I sift all of these together on a big piece of parchment):

100 grams almond flour (processed to be extra fine then sifted)
170 grams powdered sugar (process and sift)
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (process and sift)
100 grams aged egg whites at room temperature (to age whites, put them in a container in your fridge overnight then get them out a few hours before you began to reach room temp)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
35 grams extra fine sugar (or take normal sugar and food process it)

  1. Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment and put your circle templates under to help you pipe – remember to remove template before you bake your cookies!
  2. Place almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder in your food processor (I do them separately in my Zyliss) and process until they are very fine and mixed together. Sift mixture to remove any lumps (leave lumps in the sifter).
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy.
  4. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on medium high speed until the meringue just holds stiff peaks (that means when you pull the whisk meringue holds straight out with no drooping).
  5. In 3 additions add the sifted almond mixture into your whites.  While folding cut through the meringue then fold up and over making sure to scrape the bottom.  You want to take volume out, but not all the volume.  You will know it’s time to pipe when the batter falls from your spatula in a thick ribbon.
  6. Fill your pastry bag with the meringue almond mixture fitted with a large plain tip.  Pipe rounds onto the parchment paper very carefully- in the beginning you won’t even need to squeeze your piping bag, do not use a circular motion, just position tip in the middle of the circle and once your mixture has come out to almost the edges then with a small circular motion you can release the bag and pull it up to go to the next.  I recommend this joy of baking video.  I use their recipe as well!
  7. Once you have made your circle cookies drop the cookie sheet on the floor to pop bubbles then place the sheets up where they can dry out a bit – and heat your oven to 325.  You want them to rest about 30-60 minutes (30 is enough in dry dry Utah) so the tops are no longer tacky when touched.
  8. Bake them one rack at at time about 12-14 minutes.  The macaroons are done when they just barely separate from the parchment paper.  Remove and let them cool completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack.

Chocolate Ganache Filling:

4 ounces (120 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon butter

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just barely to a boil.
  3. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand a few minutes before you stir it gently until smooth.
  4. Let sit at room temperature until thick and piping consistency.  You can also cool it in the fridge if you frequently take it out to stir.  Put into a large piping bag with a plain tip.
  5. To assemble cookies, take one macaroon, hold it gently and pipe chocolate until almost at the edges then carefully place another on top.  Voila! You’re a macaroon master!

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking French Macaroons recipe

 

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